Sweet Tooth Craves Interactive Candy

Interactive packaging has become standard for serious players in the highly competitive novelty candy aisle. But sustained success seems to require more than a great package.
An understanding of package designs that have longevity with consumers, coupled with a commitment to answering emerging trends, are equally tantamount.
Impact Confections Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., is one novelty candy marketer that understands this balance. Russ Mackay, Director of Marketing and New Product Development, describes a chief benefit of the company’s Quality Functional Deployment (QFD) process:
“One thing we find that kids react to quite a bit is a product that looks very much real to life, that they identify with and also has the ability of having a ‘saver’ to it.”
Two current “hot” design areas are glow-in-the-dark and packages that change colors. They carry on as toys after the candy is gone.
In Mackay’s view, products that can be portioned out and offer portability remain in the consumer’s hands at least one to two years.
These principles could add sugar, if not spice, to the bottom line in novelty non-chocolate. Total category sales slumped 5.3 percent to $251.6 million for a recent reporting period, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI).
Sweetarts Novelty enjoyed a robust sales increase of 23.8 percent to solidify its position as the category leader. Sales were $18.9 million. BP

Top 10 Brands Dollar Sales
% Change vs.
Prior Year
Sweetarts Novelty $18.9 23.8
Tootsie Roll Child’s Play $17.0 -2.2
Wonka Nerds $15.5 6.4
Topps Baby Bottle Pop $14.8 -2.8
Private Label $9.6 2.0
Pez Novelty $9.4 -19.1
Spree Novelty $8.4 -13.5
Ce De Smarties $8.3 10.6
Topps Ring Pop $8.3 -6.7
Topps Push Pop $7.7 5.4
Category $251.6 -5.3